Captain Fussybuckets has been in a big boy bed for about eight months or so. He hasn't always done well. He started off great and for the longest time, it was just like he was in his crib. He didn't realize he could get OUT of his bed until a few months ago. He didn't abuse this until recently, however. Up until a few weeks ago, he'd still call for us to come get him out of his bed when he woke up.
Well, that was then. Over the past few weeks, he has started turning the doorknob on our bedroom more and more with each passing night. We always put him back in his bed, unless it was after 6 and we knew he needed more sleep (as did we!) because he went to bed so late the night before. BUT when he turned the doorknob after 6, it was sure to wake Baby D up in his own room (because he is very loud and it is usually followed by door slamming.) And he did NOT go back to sleep.
Last night we decided to bust out the baby gate, per "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Richard Ferber. Dr. Ferber bought us some extra sleep when CF was super young and waking every 45 minutes or so. So, I busted out the book again and it says: "When your child is unable to control his behavior by himself, you have to set limits for him and enforce them." Okay, got that. He goes on to say that some kids can be coaxed with rewards. We tried the sticker chart thing and yeah, that was a bust. Who cares about a sticker when they want their Mommy & Daddy at 2 AM??
He also says that kids cannot be expected to have self control on their own will in the middle of the night. That is the hardest time to have self control, and it's true. And children should not be punished or threatened in the middle of the night because they don't have self control and are just in a bad habit.
So, back to the limit setting. Dr. Ferber talks about using a baby gate to keep the kid in the room. So last night, we busted out the baby gate. We explained to the Captain what it was all about, and what the purpose was. He was excited. We agreed to leave the door open so he wouldn't open the door and forget about the baby gate and run into it. We left a light on and it took him about 40 minutes to fall asleep with all of this excitement. Then, we went to sleep around 10. Then….
At 2:30, the doorknob turns. It was Captain Fussybuckets. I was shocked because I didn't hear any noise prior to that and I had no idea how he got over the gate. I took him back to his room, and there was his IKEA kid's chair. DUH! I didn't take the chairs out!!
Well, long story short, he would not go back to sleep. Over an hour later, after many talks with Mom & Dad, he burst into tears for the thousandth time and I decided that enough was enough, that we had to have our sleep. I know, any form of sleep training is hard and you have to stick with it. But anyway….I brought his stuffed couch bed in our room and put it at the foot of our bed. He brought his light up turtle, blanket, and pillow. And he went RIGHT to sleep. I, of course, did not. He had put his turtle on his tummy, and with every breath, the stars danced on the ceiling. So around about 4 AM, I went to his bed. And then, I proceeded to have the best 3 hours of sleep I had acquired in a loooooooooooong time!!! He stayed on the floor the rest of the
night morning and Daddy slept well, too. Then, Baby D woke up at 7 and I got up with him. He hasn't slept in that late in a long time, as well.
So, what's the problem? Well, I'm just stuck. He needs to be in his bed. If we are all in our beds, we all sleep better. I can't sleep well with him in the floor. Daddy and I both can't sleep with him in our bed. (Seriously folks, it's like sleeping with a rabid octopus.) But I have a hard time going back to sleep with him coming to our room every 2 hours.
Daddy and I both have very important jobs. While my job is staying at home taking care of the boys, I think everyone can agree that it's important that I have enough sleep for this job, even though I don't leave the house.
So what's the answer? Should we keep on returning him to his bed, bribing him with stickers and treats, hoping that one day it will click? Or should we just set up his couch bed in our room for him to come lie on when he's scared or wakes during the night? Or does someone else have a brilliant idea that we haven't tried? Remember, he's two, so I don't want to scare him back to his bed with threats. That's just not a good idea because he's not old enough to understand or have self control to not come to our room.
I know, all of you co-sleepers are laughing at me. ha! Seriously though, co-sleeping would be more of an option if, like I said, he wasn't a rabid octopus!!!! hahahaha!
Anyway, your thoughts & comments are welcomed! I might not take your advice, but I'd definitely like to hear what others have to say! He's always been a not-so-great sleeper, but it's sad when your almost 3 year old is waking as often as a newborn and your 8 month old is sleeping through the night. *sigh*